US National Soccer Team
2022 Qatar World Cup Round of 16
Football is a growing phenomenon in the US. While they’re not thought of as one of the historical giants of global football, the team has been around for at least as long as the World Cup has existed.
Although they’ve never reached any wild peaks, the site has been deceptively consistent over the years.
Want to see how The USMNT will do in the Qatar 2022 World Cup? Click the links below to bet on your favourite World Cup matches!
Monday November 21 – USA vs Wales (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 8pm).
Friday November 25 – England vs USA (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 8pm).
Tuesday November 29 – Iran vs USA (Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 8pm).
USMNT Early Years
Football or “soccer” may seem like a relatively modern phenomenon in the US. However, the country competed against Canada in 1885 was the first international match ever held outside of the United Kingdom. Football goes back further in America than in many other places.
However, it wouldn’t be until 1916 that the USMNT played its first official international match. They won 3-2 against Sweden in Stockholm to get their international story proper off to a flying start.
In some ways, this wasn’t the country’s first taste success on an official global stage. In the 1904 Olympics, football was still played between club sides, and the participation of two US teams meant the country ended up going home with silver and bronze medals for football.
Official Tournament Life
The US might not always come to mind when people think of the great early teams. However, at the first-ever World Cup, the USMNT managed to achieve a third-place finish. During a 3-0 win against Paraguay, Bert Patenaude scored the first World Cup hat-trick in the competition’s history.
The team was ultimately knocked out in the semi-finals after a 6-1 loss to Argentina but the third-place finish that FIFA designated them remains to be the highest ever of any CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football) nation.
Causing An Upset
The USMNT never looked like reaching the heights that it did at the 1930s World Cup until it shocked the world in 1950.
They were drawn against a rather arrogant England side that had challenged the rest of Europe to an exhibition match and won 6-1 only a few weeks earlier. The 1-0 win from the United States shocked the footballing world at the time and is still known as one of the biggest upsets in the international history of the sport.
Despite the amazing result, the team was still ultimately knocked out in the group stages, marking the team’s last World Cup attendance for 40 years as football took the back seat to basketball and baseball in the country.
While the game reached a limbo state for much of the second half of the 20th century, the creation of an official league in the 1960s eventually led to a rise in interest and then playing standards in the international team.
This rising quality coincided perfectly with FIFA awarding the US the rights to host the 1994 World Cup. The US had qualified for their first World Cup in four decades just four years earlier, and the back-to-back hype only spurned the country forwards. The team made little mark in either competition, but it was the beginning of the streak of World Cup qualifications that few countries have ever matched.
Only seven other countries have equaled the seven straight World Cup appearances the US national team achieved starting in 1990.
The team’s shock 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago in qualification for the 2018 World Cup meant the USMNT side’s run had come to an end. However, they qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and will be looking to get their streak up and running again.
Must Know Team Facts
- Landon Donovan is widely regarded as the most talented American soccer player of all time. He played for top European teams, including Bayern Munich and Everton, and was capped 157 times by his country, scoring 57 goals in the process.
- The only player who realistically jostled for Donovan’s top spot is Clint Dempsey. He also spent time in the Premier League with Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur. He also ended up finding the back of the net 57 times for the USMNT. However, he did it in just 141 appearances.
- The US puts lots of resources into women’s football, and it more than makes up for the lack of the men’s team success. The US women’s side is by far the most successful in history.